Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Something I hear from many moms is how hard it is to find a solution for night time cloth diapering. It took me quite awhile to get something that works for us. When I started using hemp fitted diapers and a double gusset PUL (polyurethane laminate) cover is when things started looking up. But even with this combination, there are times that we have overnight leaks. I decided to look into more options for overnight, and wool interlock seems to be the choice most preferred because it has stretch but returns easily back to shape.  
Wool will absorb moisture- up to 1/3 of it's weight (source).  Wool also repels moisture, leaving it dry on the outside, preventing clothing from becoming damp. It offers a breathable barrier in place of a PUL cover. Wool is also eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic, which keeps odors from settling into the fabric. It makes sense to give wool a try because of all the benefits, right?
I found Sassy Pants Diapers on Facebook, when a friend shared a contest that was running on the page.  I looked through all her items and fell in love! The Merino Wool Interlock Diaper Cover, also known as "woolies" or "soakers" looked like something I really needed to try. It's made of a very soft wool interlock blend of 97% wool and 3% spandex.  There are 3 different sizes available, 0-3 months, 3-9 months and 9-24 months.  I was sent the large woolies for reviewing purposes.   She also offers fitteds and hybrid fitteds, both which you can get custom embroidered. I'm a big fan of the breastfeeding theme embroidered designs!
Sassy Pants Diapers is located in Mankato, Minnesota.  A few years ago, when Stephanie Paradis, the WAHM behind Sassy Pants became a mother, she wanted to save money so she started making cloth diapers with polyesters, plastics and microfibers.  As she learned more about the fibers she was using for diapers, where and how they are manufactured, the environmental and social effects of their production, and their inability to break down in landfills, she decided to quit sewing with them. She began only using wool and organic fabrics in 2013.  Stephanie's very passionate about providing the finest materials making cloth diapering better!  Her children are her inspiration and she loves creating things for families that will benefit them, as well as, "Add a touch of beauty to something that seems mundane."
The package had writing over it that said HAPPY FLUFF MAIL DAY! I thought that was awesome!
She also wrapped up the cover in wrapping paper and added in the ingredients needed to wash and lanolize the wool.  I found this spectacular, as it takes out the guesswork and hassle to prep your wool.  The majority of customers also get a free token added to their order, in my case it was a 4 pack of adorable owl flannel/terry cloth wipes!
Sassy Pants Diapers Woolies are very soft, but have a nice little stretch to them.  The size was PERFECT and the waist band and leg cuffs are perfectly proportioned. There is a sewn-in soaker adding more protection.  The wool is easily able to dye, and Stephanie customizes the color of thread to your liking.
Caring for wool is something you have to do separately, added to your cloth diaper washing routine.  This was something very intimidating to me, but Sassy Pants recommended THIS VIDEO and after watching it and talking with a couple nearby cloth diapering friends, I was able to quickly dry lanolize the wool cover.  I hung it up to dry out on the line in the shade for a few hours, but then it started to rain so it finished drying inside for a whole day to make sure it was good and ready.  Then it was ready to put on the bum!
My daughter is about 29 pounds and is 19 months old.  She normally wears a hemp fitted with a bamboo booster and a PUL cover overnight.  I replaced the wool cover for the PUL cover.
Here's Karebear playing Peek-a-Boo and showing off her adorable rib rolls while modeling the woolies.
There are no gaps, the woolies fit just like underpants would but with slightly wider bands.  This is so helpful keeping leaks in.
The first night we used the wool cover, we had no leaks.  The outside of the cover didn't even feel damp.  When I took it off, it didn't even smell like pee, and those of us with toddlers know how stinky morning diaper changes can be...  I was thrilled!  After you prep wool, it's very low maintenance. Just hang to dry and handwash every so often with a specialized wool wash or emulsifier. I haven't had to wash mine yet after 2 nights, it's still keeping everything dry.  I imagine it could go through 7-14 wears without needing washed. You may want 2-3 wool covers to rotate through to give adequate drying time in between.  If it gets pooped on, you can spot clean it with wool wash.  When it becomes smelly, it's time to handwash.  Do not wash in washing machine.
What's my favorite thing about Sassy Pants Woolies?
  Wool is a sustainable fiber, it's so soft and breathable, so far I prefer it over traditional cloth diaper covers!
Is there anything I'd change about this product?
Absolutley not.  It's made very well and works wonderfully.
I give Woolies by Sassy Pants Diapers a 10/10!
I love them and I encourage everyone to try wool too!
SHOP Sassy Pants Handmade on Etsy
Sassy Pants Diapers on Facebook
Here's a current promotion that you can take advantage of:
15% off anything in the etsy store in celebration of earth week. Use code GREENLOVE Valid til 4/26/15
Sassy Pants Diapers is helping me host a giveaway, so one of my readers will win $25 credit! All you have to do is fill out the competition form below to enter. This giveaway will run from 4/22/15-5/6/15. Open to US only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the competition form using the email address you use). You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.

Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway, however Latched On Mom was given a free product in exchange for a review. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty.  This giveaway has been organized thru Latched On Mom, all questions may be directed to latchedonmom(at)gmail(dot)com.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
I never imagined when I first started pumping that I'd find myself a year and a half later still pumping.  Exclusive pumping is a whole new world beyond nursing!  The information available is often conflicting or confusing. It seems there's less support and often, you feel like you've been branded as inferior for not directly nursing at the breast. I was low supply- no matter how many times or how long I pumped, I never made quite enough for my baby.  My daughter needed supplemented to get her through her first year and we luckily were recipients of donor milk from local mamas I found on HM4HB. Every pumping mama will agree that every single ounce really is special!  
In 2 days, I will have been pumping 19 months... you can read my breastfeeding story with Karebear HERE.  I'm getting about 2 ounces with just one pump a day now.  My ultimate goal was 18 months of breastmilk and I've done it- I've exceeded my own expectations! 
You may know that I love to do graphic design and I made up a cute little frame today to commemorate this accomplishment.  
I wanted to show the frame I made and let you know you can get a copy on my Facebook page HERE!!  
Share this with every mom you think needs to remember how appreciated their efforts are!  Pumping is hard work! If you'd like more information about my graphics, feel free to email me!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
This post contains affiliate links, which means that everytime a customer clicks through and continues to make a purchase, my account will automatically be credited with 5% of the sale.

I've been using cloth diapers for over a year now.  We were part-time users until Karebear was about 10 months.  After we figured out that hemp fitteds and Thirsties covers held up over 6 hours-  the perfect overnight solution- we finally made the leap to full time cloth diapering.
We did have some issues once before.  I was using Free and Clear with the newborn diapers and as she got bigger, the diapers got stinkier. We switched to Tide, no issues (except that I honestly don't feel comfortable using it, due to all the stuff that's in it).  I wanted to go green and so I tried Rockin' Green but it's like the smell has come back with a vengeance.  I'd say it smells like a nasty men's restroom.  Definitely time to strip cloth diapers when they smell like that!  
I'm not going to lie.  It took quite a bit of research to decide what method to use for stripping.   It seems like there's large groups of people who say to strip specifically one way or another.  Usually involves purchasing specific cleaners that you probably have NEVER bought in your entire life.  Some cleaners are very harsh and some are very expensive.  We chose to cloth diaper to save money, so these "recommendations" feel like stripping would end up being way too much work.  
If you think about your cloth diaper routine, it most likely is entirely different than the next cloth diaperer... Something I've learned is that there isn't a one size fits all approach to anything cloth diaper related.  If you find something that seems to work for you, I think that's great!  I prefer making things as simple as possible, with what I have on hand. So I'm sharing with you today an easy and efficient way to strip cloth diapers.  This is what worked well for me because not only is it affordable and convenient, but also very effective!
Step 1: Start with clean diapers!  Set your washing machine to fill with the most water (usually a heavy-duty wash setting) on HOT. Add in 1 scoop of OxyClean and 1/3 cup of bleach. Put all your natural fiber diapers, like hemp and bamboo in your washing machine.  
Meanwhile take all the clean pocket diapers, covers, all in one's and microfiber inserts and put them in the bathtub.  Fill halfway with HOT water and squirt some blue Dawn dish soap in.  Just 1 tablespoon should be plenty to wash up between 30 diapers and inserts.  Handwash throughly. Squeeze and rub all that stink away.  
Step 2: Rinse until the water runs clear.  Knead them like you do bread, swish and swirl and spray down.
Set all the pockets, covers, AIO's aside for the washing machine.   
Refill the tub halfway of HOT water again, but add in half a cup of bleach (visit your bleach manufacturer's website for proper ratio of bleach to water for maximum disinfection).  Let the inserts soak 6 hours or longer in the water mixture. Put on gloves to drain the water and definitely before handling the inserts. Knead, rinse and soak in water for a couple more hours.  Then rinse and wash ALL the diapers you started out with in the tub WITHOUT DETERGENT until all suds are gone. Run another wash but this time, just go along and do your normal washing routine.    
Your washing routine should be based on what kind of washing machine you have (HE or non-HE), how hard your water is, what chemicals/additives you feel safe using regularly and cost.    
 Step 3:  Sun everything, let it go from washing machine to line.  The UV rays will kill off any bacteria still around. Be careful not to over-dry, the PUL waterproof backing on diapers doesn't tolerate high heat.  As soon as the diapers are dry, I whip the natural fiber diapers in the air a few times to soften them back up.  Now you should be able to say your diapers smell absolutely marvelous and hopefully gain back their absorbency and no more leaks!  
Latched On Mom did not receive payment for providing this information. All opinions are my own, written by me.  
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
While you're pregnant, your body changes.  You may notice more sensitivities to taste and smell, you may feel fatigued and more emotional, and you'll probably notice changes in your skin.  Stretch marks are the most common complaint of skin changes during pregnancy.  American Pregnancy Association has a helpful article explaining how stretch marks are formed.   Preventing and improving the appearance of stretch marks is something you might be looking into, because while you're pregnant it's even more important to take good care of your skin.  
image source- "Squircle belly (19004951)" by Patrick Fitzgerald from Atlanta, GA, USA - Squircle belly. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons- HERE
I have found a product that deeply moisturizes your constantly changing skin.  DreamBelly Butter by Fairhaven Health is a natural stretch mark cream that you can use anywhere- stomach, breasts, thighs, arms. It is designed to protect and nourish your skin, preventing stretch marks and to help fade existing stretch marks.

From three pregnancies, I have had my share of well-earned mama tiger stripes.  I have tried several lotions and oils and have found some to have unfavorable scents, or even leave your skin feeling greasy.  When I first opened my DreamBelly Butter, I noticed how it was a luxurious, thick cream and that it smelled fantastic.  
Fairhaven Health states, "DreamBelly Butter combines natural, plant-derived butters and oils for deep moisturizing along with antioxidants from grapefruit and rosehip oil to heal, soothe, and revitalize strained skin."  Here are some of the amazing ingredients you'll find that help make DreamBelly Butter so beneficial:
* Water
* Aloe Vera
* Beeswax
* Sunflower Seed Oil
* Shea Butter
* Cocoa Butter
* Palm Oil
* Jojoba Seed Oil
* Grapefruit Seed Extract
* Vitamin E and B5
* Organic Olive Oil
* Rosehip Oil
* Tocopherol (antioxidant)
The directions to use indicate that two or more liberal applications per day is recommended.  After applying the cream to my stomach and chest, I felt that it absorbed easily into my skin, without a grimy film.  DreamBelly Butter helps your skin maintain it's elasticity and provides a natural way to repair the damaged skin from stretch marks that you may be embarrassed about.  
DreamBelly Butter comes in a 4 ounce tub.  I have been using this ALL OVER for the past couple weeks- and my body has appreciated it!  I really love DreamBelly Butter!  Even my husband has recognized how supple my skin has become.  I think you'd approve of it also!
What's my favorite thing about DreamBelly Butter?  I love how it feels on my skin, and how it smells!
Is there anything I'd change about this product?  I wish it was completely organic.  That's the only thing that seems to be missing for me with it.  Otherwise it's perfect.
I give DreamBelly Butter by Fairhaven Health a 9/10!
Want to keep up to date with new products and promotions from Fairhaven Health? 
SHOP Fairhaven Health-
Would you like to win a 4 oz. container of DreamBelly Butter?  Fairhaven Health is helping me host a giveaway, so one of my readers will win!  All you have to do is fill out the competition form below to enter.  This giveaway will run from 4/7/15-4/20/15.  Open to US only.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Void where prohibited. Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the competition form using the email address you use). You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. 

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Breastfeeding my youngest has been a journey to say the least.  I've written a few posts about what we've all went through HERE.  To sum it up, Karebear had a Class IV lip tie and a Class II tongue tie, as well as some other oral concerns affecting proper transfer of milk.  It has been so emotional, as my other two older children were champion breastfeeders and I value all the benefits there are to nursing.
I've continued offering her breast while exclusively pumping for the past 18 months...exclusive pumping was the best option to provide my baby with optimal nutrition, but it's been very VERY difficult to pump so much and for so long. However, she has now learned how to nurse!  I hope that we will get to experience this every day.  I have our most recent successful "Latch Training" session on YouTube, so check it out!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
April is Earth Month, and for 2015, my resolution has been to find more ways to be eco-conscious.  I have a series of posts in Make it Green in 2015 campaign that discuss ways we can make simple changes to help improve our environment and create a healthier lifestyle.  Natural parenting is something I care very much about, and we need to teach our children to love our planet by being good examples ourselves.
I'm very happy to be involved in the Natural Parenting Blog Hop hosted by ALLterNATIVElearning. With this hop, you can learn beneficial tips and activities to green your family, along with 3 amazing prize packages, including:

* Harrington Harmonies & The Natural Homeschool- Wildflower and Tree Notebook Pages bundle
* Prize pack including gardening kit with gloves, apron and watering can, bug bungalow and magnifying glass set, Art from Packaging Book, "Why Should I Bother about the Planet" book and "Why Should I Recycle" book, all sponsored from ALLterNATIVElearning

* E-Cloth- The Flexi Edge reusable floor and wall duster
* Gardening Prize Pack including Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, seed starting pots, etc.
* An Essential Oils Prize back sponsored from ALLterNATIVElearning

*Earth Mama Angel Baby- Breastfeeding Essentials Prize Pack
*Adventure in a Box- Wooden Rattle/Teether
*Lil' Things- Custom Cloth Diaper

Visit ALLterNATIVElearning to get the full itinerary of topics and more information about the giveaway.  Open to US and Canada.  Ends 4/22/15. Fill out the form below to enter.

Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

     Welcome to the 10th Anniversary Celebration for Comfy Joey!! Can you believe this company started 10 years ago?! Company owner and founder Ayesha Ghatala discovered babywearing after the birth of her second child. As the proud Mom to 4 children she has built not only her family, but an amazing babywearing company well known not only for the comfortable CJ Hybrid Shoulder in her ring slings, but also a breath taking selection of slings in linen, silk, water fabric, customs, conversions and even a child's line. These slings have remained popular throughout these 10 years based on quality work, slings that are made-to-order and created in Boisie Idaho in the USA! The ring sling shown here is a review of Comfy Joey's Toddler Width Silk in Black Onyx.
I think ring sling baby carriers are great because they're a very handy, quick way to get baby wrapped and they can be used from newborn to toddler age!  I love my homemade ring sling and I am happy to help promote this giveaway!  What a great chance for one of my readers to win a $100 Comfy Joey store credit!  
This giveaway is open worldwide! Residents 18+ are permitted to enter, void where prohibited. Spam accounts will not be considered for prize. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond. Thank you and good luck!!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Latched On Mom is participating as a giveaway promoter and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Questions should be directed to hosting blog MamaBananasAdventures(at)gmail(dot)com. Comfy Joey will provide prize voucher to randomly drawn winner once the giveaway closes. Thank you for participating!!
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